A new Green Business Support programme in Glasgow is helping local companies transition to Net-Zero, reduce their energy costs and become more resilient to climate change.

The programme - which aims to improve small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) knowledge and capacity and accelerate delivery - is part of the work of the Glasgow Green Deal, a nine-year mission to transform the city’s economy to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.   

The programme consists of two elements - Green Business Grants, and advice and support.

Green Business Grants: The Green Business Grants will support a minimum of 50 SMEs in Glasgow, targeted at activities which address both the cost of living and climate crises, such as energy efficiency, renewables, active travel and waste management; with the remainder allowing enhanced advice and support for at least 250 SMEs as they transition to net-zero carbon and climate resilience.

Advice and Support: The support - part-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - is tailored to businesses in the city, to help build awareness and understanding of necessary actions, increase speed of access to funding, and to innovate in areas where support is not currently provided, but where there is an emerging need.

As part of this programme, Sniffer will deliver four innovative pilot projects to test different approaches to providing SME support on resilience to the impacts of climate change. The pilot will see the council testing a variety of approaches (such as sectoral and place-based) to identify those approaches which are most effective and scale them up in future rounds of business support. 

The pilot projects are:

  • ‘Becoming Climate Resilient’: bespoke training and support for Glasgow City Council’s Business Advisers, who have a crucial role to play in supporting SMEs to benefit from the transition to a green economy, including increasing climate resilience.
  • Climate Ready Business Improvement Districts: work in-depth with SMEs and community members in one Business Improvement District to discuss the climate resilience challenges and opportunities that exist within their community and identify opportunities for increasing climate resilience in a way that delivers wider benefits for local businesses and the community. 
  • Blended climate resilience and mitigation support: collaboration with the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute to deliver this pilot building on learning from their established Royal Bank of Scotland funded SME climate leaders support programme, Climate Springboard.
  • Creative economy and screen sector: collaboration with the creative economy and screen sector to co-develop a series of engagement workshops and practical exercises and work with Film City Glasgow to explore sustainability and climate resilience within the screen sector. 

Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director at Sniffer, said: “We’re delighted to be working on this pilot in Glasgow to support SMEs not only transition to Net Zero but also become climate resilient.  As host of COP26, Glasgow has a responsibility to innovate and lead on delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.  Over the next year, we’ll work together to do just that - identifying the best ways to support SMEs to become more resilient to hotter summers, flash flooding and rising sea levels.  We are proud to be helping breathe life into this commitment in the city’s Adaptation Plan and the wider Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.”

More information on the Green Business Support programme is available at: www.glasgow.gov.uk/greenbusinesssupport.